What to wear for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Packing List
Wear Long Sleeved Shirts – Long Trousers
You need to wear long-sleeved shirt and Long trousers (can be either Khaki zip-up trousers or jeans) in fact if you can get waterproof trousers wear those. Both long trousers and long-sleeved shirts protect you from branches, nettles, thorns or anything else that can prick/scratch you.
Cotton undergarments are recommended, also the ladies should ensure that they wear comfortable bras since the hike can be tough.
Wear Waterproof Hiking Sturdy Boots
The hiking trails can be slippery especially when it rains therefore a pair of waterproof hiking boots is required especially for gorilla safaris. The shoes should be comfortable for you, in fact Rangers and Trekkers usually wear rubber boots or gumboots. Therefore, you can’t see any one wearing white snickers, sandals or any inappropriate footwear.
Hiking boots will give you good stability, balance, traction and support to your ankles, with these also wear good and thick socks. It is important to tuck your trousers into your socks, this sounds and may look unfashionable but it will protect you against fire ants.
Sturdy Gardening Gloves
This seems a joke, but it is right. These strong gardening gloves are going to be used in gorilla trekking not in gardening. They will help you support your selves on branches or vines, the gloves also give you protection against nettles such that you don’t get scratched.
You can put them off when you meet the Gorillas in order to take good photos.
A Rain Jacket
Gorilla sare trekked in the rainforest and usually in the morning hours, therefore rain might fall at any time whether it’s a dry season or not, and therefore rain jacket should come handy.
A poncho can also be worn, most trackers, rangers and porters wear it. If you are carrying one, carry a light one which you can easily fold and kip in your bag pack until you need it the next time.
Wear a Hat
All you need is a good wide-brimmed hat on an expensive Tilley Hat, the hat protects your head and neck from rain or the sun. One might choose to wear a baseball cap but t will not protect your neck form the scotching sun after the mist in the mountains has disappeared.
Alternatively, if you don’t come with the hat from home, you could buy one form any local craft markets in the country where you will be trekking gorillas from.
By the end of the trek you will be glad that you wore your hat.
Wear enough Insect Repellent
During the trek you come across different insects therefore wears a lot of insect repellent will protect you, also you can apply a sunblock cream on your exposed body parts.
For trackers who are on a Gorilla Habituation Experience, which takes a full days are advised to bring the repellent in their daypack.
A Warm Sweater
Someone might wonder, a sweater in Africa? Yes, and it is important that you carry one or a cardigan to be worn in the early mornings and cool nights. It really gets so cold at night. In Mgahinga Gorilla Park or Volcanoes National Park, the temperature is at10°C/50°F and in Bwindi Impenetrable it’s at11°C/52°F and some times it’s lower than this.
Therefore, this is why the luxury lodges here have fireplaces in cottages or rooms and other lodges give visitors hot water bottles for comfort throughout the cold night.
These should be of cotton type or wool since they offer protection to the feet.
Face masks: Preferably disposable surgical masks. You will need one when tracking and one when with the gorillas.
What is the right colour for your safari clothes?
Bright colours should be avoided while carrying out safari activities in the jungle, but these can be used while enjoying a dinner back at the lodge. Neutral colours like light brown, green, Khaki are good for safari activities during the day and they are highly recommended all over Africa, in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana and so much more. Black and blue shirts are not good in the jungle since they attract tsetse flies and other insects.
Gorilla Trekking Packing List
These items below are so important for usage during your gorilla safari in Rwanda.
- Citronella soap: this is so important since it both acts as soap and an insect repellent; this type of soap is also anti-bacterial to the body.
- Insect repellent: The most frequent repellent that works on both mosquitoes and tsetse flies is RID. This can also be bought online and can be applied on with clothes.
- Sun Blocker cream: this cream will help you protect your face and eyes from the hot sun of Equatorial Uganda.
- Hand Wipes: these are handy items that help with preventing germs and can be bought here in Africa; they can help in situations where there is no water.
- Sun glasses: These help with protection from the direct sun shine.
- First Aid: this should be carried in case a tourist gets injured from the jungle.
Important safari gadgets and equipment’s
These items below are the necessary gadgets and equipment’s on any safari to Uganda and Rwanda. In case you are bringing a laptop, smart phones, and tablets, you must end ever to protect enough protection.
- Camera and accompanying equipment’s: End ever to carry a camera that is well equipped with its items as well as a lens cleaner to keep the camera lens clean.
- Enough Batteries: Carry a complete set of chargeable batteries along with a good charger, these should be in your handy bag within the vehicle.
- Binoculars: You are advisable to carry a pair of binoculars and these will depend on which activity you are to carry out like birding or game driving.
- Camera Memory card: you are advisable to carry extra memory cards for the cameras if you are to take many photos in the jungle.
In Rwanda, plastic bags are not allowed and you will be charged for dropping them around.
Before Encountering The Gorilla
Always follow the guide’s instruction because the guides navigate the national park every day and therefore are aware and understand every part of the forest.
- b) Always keep in the tourist tracking groups especially while in the forest to avoid getting lost.
- c) Avoid making a lot of noise as it can distract the mountain gorilla and other wildlife species in the forest.
d) Avoid littering any rubbish in the national park.
e) Do not go for tracking when sick.
On Encounter with The Mountain Gorilla
Always keeping a reasonable distance away from the mountain gorillas at least 7 meters.
b) Not using flash photography while taking photos of the mountain gorillas as it may irritate them.
c) Minimizing noise until you are at least about 200 meters from the gorillas.
d) Avoid eating in the presence of the mountain gorillas.
e) Do not touch the mountain gorillas. When they come towards your way, just remain where you are and avoid a direct eye contact with the gorillas.
- f) Do not imitate the mountain gorilla behaviour like beating the chest because it might send the wrong message to the mountain gorillas.
- g) You should not go gorilla trekking if you have Covid-19, diarrhoea, flu or a cold. Gorillas have no immunity to most human diseases and even mild human infections can be lethal to a gorilla. The Covid-19 pandemic has made us even more aware of the risk we pose to them. You are obliged to inform the authorities if you are sick and they will decide if you are well enough to visit the gorillas. Remember that the lives of the endangered gorillas are more important than your holiday.
- h) If you need to sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth to reduce the chance of spreading infection.
- i) Don’t spit or leave litter in the forest. Gorillas can catch diseases from human rubbish.
- j) Gorillas can be quite curious. Do not touch the gorillas, even if they come close to you.
Tourists are allowed to be in the presence of the mountain gorillas for strictly one hour, which is intended to minimize chances of disease, spread from the human’s to mountain gorillas. There are high chances of disease spread from humans to the gorillas because about 98%of their DNA is similar to humans.
If the above are observed and well followed by tourists, they can enjoy exclusive and once in a lifetime experience. Tourist heading for tracking should carry enough drinking water because the hike through the forest is a little strenuous causing a lot of sweat and it is therefore wise to keep hydrating (drinking water).
Tourists are also recommended to wear long sleeved shirts and long pants because mountain gorilla tracking is done in the forest with a lot of plant vegetation some of which cause skin irritation when in contact. Carrying a raincoat or water proof pant can never be a bad idea because rainfall in volcanoes national park Is highly unpredictable and can therefore occur at any time of the day.